This fall, Robert Morris University Illinois gave out 35 scholarships as part of a new program–for gamers. The university was the first to offer scholarships for its dedicated League of Legends team, which is an official part of its athletics department. But, this week another university is following Robert Morris’ example: starting next fall, the University of Pikeville (Kentucky) will be offering scholarships for students interested in joining their newly-minted esports program.
As League of Legends becomes a worldwide phenomenon, it appears as though it (and other MOBAs) is also becoming legitimized in areas where video games have often been marginalized (though I wouldn’t be surprised if this newfound interest in MOBAs is due less to the general acceptance of video games as an accepted extracurricular and more to the ridiculous prize pools that games like League and Dota 2 have). So, what does this mean for female gamers?
If you’re not a Blizzard fan, you might not have been following the explosion of excitement that has erupted after the California-based company, most known for their MMORPG World of Warcraft, announced their new project at annual fan convention BlizzCon: Overwatch, a team-based multi-player shooter in the same vein as Valve’s Team Fortress and Team Fortress 2. This is Blizzard’s first new world in 17 years, as the rest of its games have all taken place in or involved the universes of Warcraft and Starcraft, and it’s an interesting new evolution in the realm of shooters that combine MOBA and FPS principles and characteristics.
But Overwatch represents a lot more than just another entry into the shooter genre. It’s an amazing step forward for women and gaming. Read on to find out why.